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Melissa Harris- Perry

News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.

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  MSNBC    Melissa Harris- Perry    News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and  
   discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.  

    September 29, 2012
    7:00 - 9:00am PDT  

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we have spent the last few weeks telling you about the suppress sieve voter laws hastily passed by republican-led state legislatures claiming to be defending democracy against the threat of voter fraud. we have also told you that the laws themselves are the real threat to our democracy, because they would by design disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters. well, on thursday, republicans finally found evidence that the myth of voter fraud is very real and they found it right in their own party. investigators in six florida counties have opened a criminal inquiry into hundreds of cases of suspected voter fraud committed by a gop consulting firm. the republican national committee hired to register republican voters for the november 6th election. the fraud accusations against the firm strategic allied consulting began when 304 registration forms were dropped off at a palm beach elections office.
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106 of them were flagged as fraudulent. after that initial discovery, possible election fraud was also reported in florida's os coloo sa, pos coe, santa rosa lee and clay counties. if the ironies of republicans finding fraud in their own party isn't enough, it included cases of dead people being registered as dead voters, because it is a tune the republican party knows all too well. the same one they were singing when they concocted accusation of voter fraud conspiracy against acorn. the inc fired the firm when the allegations came to light. they and state republican parties will hr paid nearly $3 million to register republican voters in five key battleground states. in addition to florida, the firm was hired to register republican voters in nevada, north
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carolina, colorado and virginia. now, if you have been following along with our updates this week in voter suppression, you already know that all five of those states are among those whose primarily republican led legislatures introduced bills restricting access to voting since 2011. if those laws are so restrictive, how could these cases that look like fraud slip through the cracks? here is the explanation, because none of those laws were designed to stop the kind of fraud that is happening in florida. not voter i.d. laws or reducing early voting or proof of citizenship laws or creating barriers to restoring rights to ex-felons, not even the voter registration law that are aimed at making voting more difficult, not less fraudulent. in addition to existing a problem where no problem exists,
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they completely ignore a problem where there may be one. in pennsylvania, they were creating a problem where there wasn't one before. this is a list given to us by philadelphia based watchdog group, the committee of seventy. it is a timeline of all the changes made to pennsylvania's voter i.d. law since first passed in march. every change was an attempt by the pennsylvania department of state to address the burdens imposed on voters by the new law. the five changes are so convoluted in detail, we couldn't find a way to simplify them for you to read on screen. imagine you are a voter trying to keep up with those changes, to understand what you need to do in order to vote or imagine you are a worker at the penndot office responsible for actually following the rules to make sure that voters get the proper i.d. and information. where once there was clarity, now there is just confusion. which was the conclusion drawn by this report from the
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pennsylvania budget and policy center. last month, volunteer observers made 44 visits to the penndot driver's license centers in 35 pennsylvania counties to assess the implementation of one of those five changes. an alternate i.d. that the state designed for voters that lacked the document to obtain a traditional nondriver's i.d. in almost 50% of the cases, the volunteers who are were stand-ins for actual voters were given inaccurate or incompetent information at penndot offices. one penndot employee said, we got training, what that was worth. they keep changing things. the most recent was this week in the ongoing legal fight over pennsylvania's i.d. law which was not backed down by the state supreme court could commonwealth court judge, robert simpson. the latest change was an 11th
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hour attempt to save the law one day before the judge would hear arguments to decide whether or not the law would prevent anyone from voting on election day. it looks like the state's hail mary may have worked. even after listening to more than a half dozen witnesses describe their difficulties in getting a photo i.d., judge simpson said thursday, he was considering allowing most of the law to remain intact for the november election. he has until october 2nd to make his final decision. pennsylvania voters have until november 6th to make sense of a law that hasn't become any clearer since march. with me at the table wisconsin democratic congresswoman, gwen moore and msnbc's contributor, ary melber, and an investigative reporter, brendan mock and katherine culitan-gonzalez, the
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director of voter protection at the advancement project. thank you all for being here today. >> katherine, i want to start with you. as we were, every week, we sit down and try to figure out what's going on in pennsylvania, what do you know about judge simpson? when i look at this, this looks like a mess to me. how can this judge possibly look at this moving target and say no worries, no one will be disenfranchised in 40 days? >> i certainly hope you are right. we are going to have a final decision. the supreme court has remanded judge simpson and asked him to make a final determination of this photo i.d. law. we are hoping for a decision on monday. we hope once and for all pennsylvania voters will know they don't have to bring an i.d. to the polls. it is unnecessary. zero instances of voter fraud in pennsylvania. there is no reason to be implementing poll taxes at the time so close to an election.
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we are hoping for a favorable ruling. we are also on the ground educating people on how to get their ideas as best as they can. the lines at the penndot are two, three, four hours long. disabled people are unable to get the new form of i.d. we hope that judge simpson rules favorably and strikes down this law. >> brenton, you have been all over this from the beginning. i have been following your stories, today in voter suppression. when i hear that the penndot offices are giving out all of this bad information, i'm assuming they are not part of some grand conspiracy. they are just front line workers that can't keep up with the rules. is that right? what are the real challenges to making this at all fair? >> well, consider when the common wealth court hearing started on tuesday. the latest iteration of rules had come down to the penndot workers literally that morning.
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there was testimony in court that at 7:45, that morning, that a memo went out to the penndot workers telling them, oh, so here are these new rules and policy changes. so there has been plenty of confusion both in philadelphia and in pittsburgh and everywhere in between. i've spoken with people from the a. philip randolph institute and naacp in pittsburgh who have said we are taking people by the busloads and van loads out to penndot to give them the i.d. and the penndot workers who are confused about how to apply this law. one lady testified in court that she took a woman in to go get the voter i.d. and the penndot worker told her, we are not offering the free voter i.d. cards anymore. actually told her this. this was repeated over and over again. >> so even if it is not purposeful, creating this kind of confusion ends up disenfranchising people. i want to be sure that i am not reproducing a fox news moment here. what i mean is i started by
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talking about the strategic aplint group and the $3 million they got it from the gop. convince me i am not acorning them. >> my big concern here and i think you raised the right question is. how do we deal with this and hit the point you made at the outset. this has nothing to do with what happens when people exercise their right to go up on election day and vote. this is about registration shenanigans by a consulting or outside group that should be controlled. there is concern that this issue has become another polarized piece of information flow where people are looking for ammunition. the point i would draw to answer your question is, when we look
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at what even republican-appointed judges have said around the country in several of these cases, there is no evidence of any kind of widespread voter fraud that interferes with the integ gririf elections. that's been found by many judges even in cases that jun held very restrictive laws. we have to separate the fact that there isn't a voter fraud problem that fox news wants you to believe while patrolling the cases when they come up. congresswoman, before being elected to the u.s. house of representatives, you were in the state legislature in wisconsin. talk to me how a policy or law gets through the state legislature. why would the pennsylvania republicans make this kind of choice? is there any kind of sort of protection of democracy reason. are voters clamoring for this kind of law? >> melissa, thanks for having me. i fought this voter i.d.,
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started fighting it in 2000 when i was in the state legislature with then representative scott walker, who is now governor scott walker. he introduced a voter suppression of voter i.d. law. my take on it then and it is now, i don't know how it gets through the state legislatures when you consider that this is not only a constitutionally protected right. it is more constitutionally protected than any other right there is. by the 14th, the 15th amendment, the 19th, the 24th, and then the 26th and the voting rights act of 1965. we have these much-touted rights around, the right to bear arms and the right of free speech and the right to put stupid videos up, anti-islamic rights. state legislatures, because of,
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quote, unquote, states rights, that little coded provision in our culture enables individual states to protect themselves, not against fraudulent behavior but protect themselves against the aspirations of the people in those states who are students, who are minorities and elders. >> i like that language. they are protecting themselves from the aspirations of full democracy. we are going to come back on this issue. there is always so much. it is astonishing how there is so much in voter suppression. in the battleground state of florida, there is a trap being set for a certain group of would-be voters. who they are and why they matter is next.
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while some americans face difficulties voting because of restrictive laws, there are others who by law are stopped from voting entirely. they are the more than 4 million people living and working in communities where they are denied the right to vote because of a previous felony conviction. 11 states have laws that permanently disenfranchise people with a previous criminal conviction unless they apply and are granted rights restoration by the government. in a column for the nation this week, one of my guests wrote about one of those states, florida. you have heard about florida before. in florida where mixed messages to former felons have left many with misunderstanding about their voting status.
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brentich brentin mock rights this. br brentin is still here. >> florida is the felony des enfranchisement of the nation. especially african-americans. a quarter are affected by these la laws. many are eligible to vote. they have gone through the process to have their rights restored. it is the state's obligation to notify these people when they get out of jail that now you are able to vote. due to the transient nature of people when they get out of jail, their address changes. so the state has sent out
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letters to the formerly incarcerated saying, you are eligible to vote. almost 20,000 came back as undeliver believe. >> that confusion alone if you have a former felony conviction, you don't want to go in and present yourself as a voter with the possibility of ended up being accused of fraudulent behavior. >> when i was in tampa recently, i spoke to a number of the formerly incarcerated. the state sent me a letter saying, i can't vote. the county sent me a letter saying, you are eligible to vote. they pulled out their voter identification card that says it was registered on march 1st, 2012. you are eligible to vote. so they are saying, you know, what should i do? you have the naacp there who is trying to sort these things out. they have a list of people that
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are eligible to vote but who have not been notified. meanwhile, you have tea party groups that are sitting in the wings waiting for some kind of mistake to happen from the confusion and say, look, see, felons voting, voter fraud. >> i want to talk a little bit about sort of why we think it is okay to permanently disenfranchise people despite the fact that they have paid their dues for whatever crime they have committed. the fact is this has an impact even beyond former felons. your organization got involved with this because african-americans were getting purged from lists even if they weren't felons. >> in 2000 and 2004 florida invented a new form of purge that targeted former felons and disappropriately affected african-americans and former felons, most of whom are nonviolent and should have the right to vote in this country were on the list. we had a minister that wasn't a
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former felon that was on the list and this year, florida has been changing the rules very, very close to the election about former felons and have invented a new form of purge about alleged noncitizens. >> this feels a little bit different to me when we talk about voter suppression. on this one, you end up with a broad group of people who even if they oppose things like voter i.d. or ending early voting say, when you commit a felony, you don't deserve to be a citizen. you don't deserve to have your voting rights. how do we build a coalition around this kind of disenfr disenfranchisement. >> in wisconsin, your rights are restored after you are off paper. that's appropriate for wisconsin when you consider the fact we have the greatest incarceration rate of african-americans in the country and possibly on the
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planet. it is really interesting because during rea portionment, federal dollars are given he so the community can enjoy the benefits of the federal dollars because of their population. >> i don't want people to miss that. the way federal funds come down, they actually count incarcerated bodies, not in the city, milwaukee or the places they are fro. they count them where they are incarcerated. >> rural, white communities. >> it always feels like that 3/5 rule that these folks don't have the right to vote but their bodies get counted for aportionment. >> exactly. they still get taxed. i do think this is a future for some of you lawyers here, supreme court case. do you have a right to
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disenfranchise people forever and continue to tax them, continue to ignore benefits to prison communities and take them away from the cities from where these prisoners are drawn and are going to be sent back to. if you are in jail in northern wisconsin, you are coming back to milwaukee. >> when you look at crime and punishment, there are post-conviction restrictions after you get out of jail that relate to public safety. if you were a repeat offender on a certain property, there can be an individualized assessment that you are restricted to going there or get preapproval to going there. on an individual basis, that makes some sense. the notion we are going to deny people their constitutional rights after they have served their debt to society does not make sense. >> especially when most fellies are drug convictions, not violent crimes. >> i would still say you have to
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go back to the first principles, even in the case of a violent crime. i can understand a judge say we are going to restrict your access to firearms. to say because you made a mistake once and paid your debt, now you never get to participate in society is crazy. it would be similarly crazy if the congresswoman mentioned all the amendments that speak to voting, right? there is one that protects your right to speech. i think it will be pretty crazy if we said, because a person did a terrible crime, no matter how terrible, now, they can't talk in public. that would feel unamerican. the other point -- do we have time. >> we are going to stay on this. i will come to you next. >> i will be here. >> you can hang out the whole show. up next, i do want to talk about this controversial study about whether or not there are 10 million latino voters that may be prevented from voting in november. ♪
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wonder what those demographics have in common? oh, yeah, they are probably going to vote for this guy. >> sometimes it just is said straightforward. by even the most conservative estimates, the numbers of americans that could be disenfranchised by voting laws are an affront to our democracy. the brennan center for justice has put that number at as many as 5 million people. a recent study has doubled that number for one group of voters, an estimated 10 million latino voters could be affected by voting laws according to the study.
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nearly half of the 21 million latino citizens counted in 2010. katherine, help me make sense of those numbers. >> sure. nearly half of the latino electorate live in states that have voter suppression laws and restrictions on their rights to vote that have a discriminatory impact. in a number of states they have gotten access to federal immigration data. they are looking to check naturalized citizens. it would create two classes of citizenship. it is happening right now. this has an impact beyond just one person who is checked. it is resident of the poll taxes and literacy test for which the voting right was founded. there are many that could pay the tax. >> when you say 10 million, you
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are not saying necessarily that 10 million would be kept from the polls. if you pay the poll tax, you get to go vote but it doesn't mean you are not impacted. >> exactly. >> in florida 2600 people got letters saying, prove your citizenship within 30 days otherwise you could be committing a felony and not vote. that affects many people in the latino and african-american community. we have the proof of the disparate impact. we know people that got a letter who are too afraid to answer. the puerto rican community are getting afraid in florida. this is another type of poll tax that has a discriminatory impact on voters of color, particularly latinos. >> we are talking about fear that latino voters may have around what this suppression effort is, the fear that the democratic party may have in pushing back against rules like this? >> democrats have this concern that if they take on these issues, which are obviously
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democratic issues, constitutional rights, voting and in their political interest, if you want to look at it that way, double bottom line and yet they worry that somehow they will look soft on crime or pro-criminal by talking about these rights. there is such an obvious comparison there to the very strict, rigorous defense of total freedom to carry weapons, all kinds of weapons by every mainstream republican out there, even in the face of shootings and other tragedies. >> doubling down in the face of those shootings. >> while the equities line up differently, there is a reward for strength in politics and standing by what you believe in and not letting the caricature become the reality. the democrats should come out strong saying, it is not whether we like criminals or not. it is a right and we are going to fight for it and not worry about what is essentially a misreading of the issue. up next, in big and small
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i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. (together) happy. i love logistics. anyone who manages not to be disenfranchised before election day by voter i.d. laws still could face a challenge on election day by groups like the tea party affiliated true the vote which is launching an organized effort to purge voter rolls and intimidate voters at the polls. with he found this story, a local newspaper in massachusetts, about voter intimidation in a democratic primary election three weeks ago. according to the article, city council counselors received this
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information. massachusetts voters do not need i.d. to vote. according to the article, they were called to a neighborhood to investigate reports that voters were being photographed by the leader of a group called activate worcester. a person who happens to be a former local leader of a local branch of the tea party. they told the paper, quote, this was an escalated organized effort to intimidate, confuse and block people from voting. keep in mind, all of this is happening in a solidly blue democratic state in a primary where all of 2500 people cast a ballot for a state representative. imagine what's going to happen on swing states on election day. all right. intimidation of voters is illegal, right? this is a different sort of thing. >> yeah. i mean, basically what we are talking about is
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rassment. i love the name a lot are using, the pure ballot bullies. we are fighting the same fights that were fought in the '50s or '60s whether it is poll taxes or literacy tests, rather than people from the klan showing up so black people would be afraid to vote. we are seeing the same thing in wisconsin where the government had to put out a new brochure informing voters of their rights saying we north going to stand for the same intimidation we saw in the scott walker recall election. a lot of that came from complaints from people that were trained by true the vote to go out and, quote, unquote, observe voters as they went to the polls. >> it is not even clear to me that it is illegal to intimidate voters. people have very well organized intimidation tactics. we have seen in wisconsin flyers
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put out by the so-called black voters league telling black folks if they haven't paid their child support that they are unable to vote. we have had folk dress up in their neon colored vests and be flown in from all places around the country to challenge every single person at the polls. at one point, during a mayoral election some years ago, we had to get an injunction against a question that they were asking people at the polls. have you paid your income taxes from this address? >> which is not a requirement for voting. we have to be clear. you do not have to have paid your taxes to vote or have an address to vote? >> does mitt romney know about this, melissa? >> we talked about this during the break. a state representative, a state senator, as a matter of fact, my
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successor, hi, lina's mother was intimidated. she had several homeless people use her address as their address for the purposes of voting. there was an allegation that they had voted fraudulently. you do not have to be middle class and have a lease or a mortgage to vote. if that mentions your address, you have the right to vote. >> you still have the right to vote. thank you, katherine culliton-gonzalez. as we leave, i want to have you listen to a remark from the congressional black caucus dinner from first lady,my will show obama, on this issue of voter intimidation. >> we can not let anyone discourage us from casting our ballots. we can not let anyone make us feel unwelcome in the voting booth. it is up to us to make sure that in every election, every voice is heard and every vote is counted. that means making sure laws
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right now get $37 basic installation on all special order carpet. they came and said, fanny lou, did pap tell you what i said? i said, yes, sir. he said, i mean that, if you don't go down and withdraw your registration, you will have to leave. i addressed him and told him that i didn't try to register for you. i tried to register for myself. >> that was just a portion of fannie lou hamer's testimony. as an organizer of the massachusetts freedom democratic party, she was petitioning them to block the all-white designation and recognize the multi-racial freedom democrats.
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her evidence was her own harrowing story of the unimaginable struggle she had endured to register two weeks earlier. we found an exclusive nbc interview with her from 1969. what's so incredible is how it feels like the same interview could take place today. >> this is fannie lou hamer from ruralville, mississippi in sunflower county and she has a gift for earthy and vivid phrases and for stating her views without hypocrisy. she will be membered as a featured player on the democratic convention five years ago. she is visiting new york to help get negroes and puerto ricans registered to vote. 15 years after the supreme court decision, is the black man in the south any better off today than he was 15 years ago?
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>> well, we still having problems but we are still moving, because we refuse and we will never just sit down now and take it easy and suffer like we have suffered in the past. i think because of voter registration, we have been able to move some. >> what do you think the hope is for the future here in america? >> well, the whole hope in the future of this country if it is not too late already is with the people, what some people call the militant, the radical or whatever you call them, black and white throughout the country in the college campus. they are very true. they are very honest and all they want is the thing that they have been reading about to become a reality and for this
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country to have democracy in action. it is going to come through these young people that we are talking about. >> fannie lou hamer was hoping it was not too late for this country to have democracy in 1969. 43 years later and somehow the civil rights issue of our day is still the right for people to vote. the tactics to suppress may be less violent now but they are no less insidious. it is just a reminder this thing we call democracy takes work. re! miracle whip is tangy and sweet, not odd. [ man ] it's evil! if you'd try it, you'd know. she speaketh the truth! [ crowd gasps ] [ woman ] reverend? ♪ can i have some? ♪
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this is the end of a week of which the political world united. all were opposed to the menace one of our most beloved institutions, the nfl. roger goodell's lockout had gone three weeks into the season.
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replacements had been working the games to oftentimes an embarrassing effect. coaches, players and fans were furious with the blown calls and clamoring for the return of the real refs when monday night happened. the seattle seahawks last second prayer of a pass into the end zone landed in the hands of the green bay packers defensive back to somehow be ruled the winning touchdown for the seahawks. the uproar began. it was front page news. players and fans alike started contemplating protest and twitter pretty much went insane including this tweet from the president of the united states who signed his initials saying, nfl fans on both sides of the aisle, hope the refs lockout is settled soon. the settlement became a bipartisan issue and it brought out none other than packers' fan and union busting wisconsin governor, scott walker, who two
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weeks ago had nearly all of his infamous anti-collective bargaining law struck down by a wisconsin judge. he chimed in on twitter writing after catching a few hours of sleep, the packers game is still painful, #returntherealrefs. mitt romney chimed in saying, i'd sure like to see some experienced referees. with nfl experience come back out to the nfl playing fields. that was after his running mate, paul ryan, also of wisconsin, used the monday night football debacle as a convenient political metaphor. >> did you watch that packer game last night? i mean, give me a break. it is time to get the real refs.
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you know what? it reminds me of president obama and the economy. if you can't get it right, it is time to get out. all of the pressure and not necessarily from politicians helped bring about a deal between the nfl and the referee's union late wednesday night. the real refs got a standing ovation before thursday night's browns/ravens game in baltimore. here is what makes that scene hilarious. ask any sports fan, player or coach, the least popular man or woman on the field is the one holding the wlislhistle. people hate referees. that is partly as a function. despite the striped uniforms, they are meant to be invisible. we only notice them when they mess up or as it seems when they are gone and not there doing their jobs as professionals. allow me a metaphor of my own. to me, this is part of the labor image we all need to see in america as a whole. these individual maligned individuals at the bottom of the
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pay scale and the bottom of the status scale within the game of football are the key to its fairness and legitimacy. people will still watch the nfl and deal with and live in america even if it manages to crush unions. the lesson i take away is the absence of real professionals really makes a difference. thank you, 47%. now, forget the chicago teachers' strike, folks. it seems all it took for politicians to pay attention to labor in the middle of an election season with three weeks of badly officiated football and the national flight to america's only publicly owned sports team, the green bay packers. back with me now, wisconsin democratic congresswoman, gwen moore and brentin mock and dave zi ron. dave, you were all over this. what are the political lessons here? >> the first lesson is, don't mess with america's national pastime, the national football league. when you and i were growing up,
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everybody watched the cosby show, everybody watched family ties and everybody had the thriller album. i even had the glove. >> i had the beat-it jacket. >> it probably looked good. in today's very fractured world, the nfl is one of the last cultural uniters in the united states. to have in high-deaf, prime time a look at what unskilled, nonunion labor looked like in practice. people in wisconsin should be asking scott walker the question, why are unskilled, nonunion workers good enough for the fire departments and classrooms of wisconsin but not good enough for the football fields. >> these are nice people, i'm sure. i'm sure they love the game of football. the teachers that come in that don't have certification, they come in and love the students. you, of course, are from wisconsin, congresswoman. you are a fan of the green bay
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packers. >> and i am such a fan and i am reminded of what vince lombardi said, winning is not everything. it is the only thing. it was very heartbreaking as i had everybody explain to me what happened. i watched the clip over and over and over again. but this is a great sacrifice to the green bay packers. it does elucidate something that's very important. i want to add gender to it. i know you will appreciate that, melissa. our governor, governor walker, supports this gladiator support, football, as he did in wisconsin when he divided and conquered. he excluded the firefighters and the police from his collective bargaining acts but subjected teachers and women as was the case in chicago. in chicago, 81% of the teachers were women. 50% of them african-american
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women. sud sdenl, suddenly, union rights, safety, pensions were not an issue for those workers as they are for police and firefighters and these gladiators on the field. >> that point, i think, is just such a brilliant one because it reminds us that our notion of what the american worker is is more complex. it is not just like the guy in the hard hat. dave made the point. why is it okay to subject our kids like this new movie that is out to inexperienced teachers, very enthusiastic young people that do it for a year and go off and work on wall street at the expense of these trained professionals? why is it okay to dumb down the teaching profession where we absolutely have to have trained
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refs in order to have a good game? >> we are going to stay on this issue of football and politics. particularly, come back, because i want to tell you about the famous heidi game of 1968. football metaphors abound. jack, you're a little boring. boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi card to get the benefits of private pass. more concerts, more events, more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ]
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[ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. ♪ ♪ we're lucky, it's not every day you find a companion as loyal as a subaru. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? welcome back. i'm melissa harris perry. there is something in television that people refer tos athe heidi rule and it stems in the heidi came. they were leading 38-22 with a minute left. suddenly, viewers were left wondering what happened to the
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football game. a made for tv movie, heidi, about a little girl living in the swiss alps came on as scheduled. imagine the surprise of those watching when they saw scrolling along the bottom of the screen, raiders defeat jets 43-32. there was no sunday ticket back then. everyone watching nbc missed a dramatic comeback victory by the raiders. i remind you of that incident to say this. it ain't over until it is over. so, yes, the argument could be made in an nbc wall street marist poll that the president holds advantages over mitt romney in new hampshire, nevada and north carolina. these are just three battleground states. nbc news reported yesterday that the president in polls taken over the past three weeks holds leads in six more battleground states. that makes nine, including iowa, which is already voting and ohio, which starts voting in person on tuesday. the president also has a
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six-point lead in the gallup poll compared to just five against senator john mccain four years ago. so president obama is in a good position, no doubt. but i think the actor samuel jackson made the point in a new children's story style video this week in which he implores lethargic, complacent, dissatisfied 2008 obama voters to, well, listen. >> sorry, my friend but there is no time to snore. an out of touch millionaire has just declared war on schools, the environment, unions, fair pay. we are all on our own if romney has his way. he is against safety nets. if you fall, tough luck. i strongly suggest that you wake the -- up. >> remember the heidi game, people. this election is not over. wake up. joining me, gwen moore, ari melber and brentin mock and dave
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zirin. the heidi game reminds us it is not over until it is over. despite these great polls, what are we looking at in the next month? >> i thought you were going to go with samuel jackson, i want the snakes off the plane and i would like the superpacs being the snakes. we could do a lot of samuel l. jackson. >> i will strike down with great vengeance and furious anger those who will attempt to destroy my brothers. >> a lot of you know my name is the lord when i lay my vengeance upon thee. that should be obama's slogan for the first debates. >> they don't know the second hour of nhp is a drinking game. >> congresswoman, i'm almost sad i put you at this table. >> really, i'm not ready to pop open the champagne cork for president obama, because, you know, the republicans have what
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i call scissergy where the sun, the moon, and the stars have all lined up in their benefit to change the game here. number one, they have citizens united where they can spend unlimited, unaccountable amounts of money. if you give me $20 donation, you got to give your name, age, social security number and where you work. these folks, they give millions without disclosing who they are. they have voter suppression tactics. clearly, in all of the battleground tactics they had a coordinated strategy to do that and when they picked paul ryan, i thought, cynically, why would they just hand democrats that gift, a guy who has a record of wanting to take away social security. i have been on the budget committee for five of the seven years i have been in congress. he wants to take away medicare and medicaid. everything that benefits
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primarily women and children wants to destroy the safety net. why would they hand us this gift? because they have the capacity to just lie. >> they can buy it, they can steal it, so many things can happen. >> i look at it a little differently. i have worked on campaigns. i definitely understand when you are in office, you have a campaign going, you want everyone focused on voting and not taking anything for granted but to your question, i do think there is an important number here. it is 31%. that is the share of votes that were cast before election day last cycle. it is a number that is likely going to go up because of the on-the-ground organizing the obama campaign is doing, including specific efforts to deal with voter suppression and voter i.d. they have a portal that we have talked about before. i think the problem for mitt romney here, i wouldn't tell anyone to lay back if they wanted to get involved. the problem is, this race is not beginning in a couple more
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weeks. this race has gun 1 out of 3 votes are being cast. if he continues to stay down and people are voting at these rates, then even if he has a surge, even if he has a wonderful first debate, even if obama makes a gaffe and things tighten, a lot of votes will already have been cast reflecting the state of the race today. >> the church of god in christ, 200, 300,000 people will be in st. louis on november 6th for their convocation. so early voting is extremely important. >> so you can get it done. >> undecided voters are also some of the people least likely to tune in to debates. usually people that watch debates are the people most tuned in and people that have made up their minds. some of the people i speak to on the ground, it does feel different from 2008 in a very important degree. 2008, it was a lot about hope and change and the idea about making history. electing a person in african
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heritage in a country built on slavery, a lot of the enthusiasm is driven by fear of paul ryan, fear of mitt romney and fear of what the republican party has become in the last four years. >> i have to disagree with that. i hear that a lot. i don't think the numbers bear that out. when you look at democratic support for this president, it is at 89%. the only other president in the last 40 years to obtain that kind of support was ronald reagan within his own party. barack obama is more popular within the party and the base right now at this point in the election than bill clinton was, than jimmy carter was with his party and bush sr. was with his party. energy is hard to measure. the measurements we have show a reaganesque party unity. >> matt has this great piece in the rolling stone where he says the presidential race never,
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ever should have been this close. the idea that we become like sports announcers. we want the tight game going into the fourth quarter. we want a hail mary pass at the end because it is more exciting. he points out that, in fact, this race is one given both who mitt romney is as a candidate as well as the extremely high support that president obama has within his base should never have been this close at all which goes to your point about sometimes the massive amount of money that's gone into the race to give us a different message about mitt romney. >> i want to add one disagreement to the disagreement. as much as popularity and the figures are up. the difference between 2008 and 2012 is the tea party, which happened in 2010. we know that they are going to be on the ground, up in people's faces and raising hell just like they did around the affordable
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health care act. we didn't have that so much in 2008. we know we have groups like true to vote that are going to be challenging people at the polls. we have seen people like nathan strou that has uncovered the kind of things that the republican party are up to. >> the numbers of people that they can force into provisional ballots. you vote on tuesday in wisconsin and you have until friday to produce the kind of identification that they want to see. if you didn't have a birth certificate on tuesday, you are not going to have it on friday, a photo i.d. >> you know they want that birth certificate. >> they have been asking for the birth certificate. >> that's a big thing with them. sorry. >> this election could very well not be decided by 2:00 in the
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morning. we could very well easily find ourselves a week or two out just based on the numbers, the intimidation forcing people to vote provisionally. >> or it could get decided. maybe there is an overwhelming surge for presidential re-election. then, there is the senate. there are gubernatorial races. part of my anxiety about early voting as much as it clearly benefits the president at the top of the ticket, i wonder about what happens at the bottom of the ticket where, yes, the presidential race is maybe moving into its fourth quarter. sometimes those local races are just starting to get warmed up in the last month. i am wondering if it has a negative impact at all on those democrats. >> look at claire mccaskill facing off against todd aiken, that is a race that has turned on some new facts. political junkies may have known that todd aikens has a reputation for saying things.
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that's the flip side that i think is just a question of your theory of democracy, how much time should we have to vote, because in that case and others the lack of media attention on a lot of local races you could tell this better than i can means that sometimes these things don't really get flusheded out until the last couple of weeks. >> i have one more football metaphor when we come back. in football, they call it a reverse. when it comes to mitt romney on health care, we may need a whole new play. that's next. we're sitting on a bunch of shale gas. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪ it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy. but we've got to be careful how we get it. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs. use the most advanced technology to protect our water. billions in the economy. at chevron, if we can't do it right, we won't do it at all.
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in 3 days. neosporin® eczema essentials™. oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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[ male announcer ] fedex office. sleep train's inveis ending soon. sale save 10%, 20%, even 35% on a huge selection of simmons and sealy clearance mattresses. get 2 years interest-free financing on tempur-pedic. even get free delivery! sleep train stacks the savings high to keep the prices low. but hurry, the inventory clearance sale is ending soon. superior service, best selection, lowest price, guaranteed. ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ this was mitt romney speaking to ran allen of nbc
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news on wednesday in toledo, ohio. >> don't forget, i have got everybody in my state assured. 100% of the kids in our state have health insurance. i don't think there is anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record. >> hello. that was governor romney bragging about insuring everyone in the state of massachusetts. that was governor romney just ten minutes after that interview speaking at a rally in toledo said this. >> i will repeal obama care and replace it with real health care reform. obama care is exhibit number one of the president's political philosophy. that is that government knows better than people how to run your lives. >> please don't miss what just happened there. governor romney was like, when i ensure everybody, its empathy. when the president does it, it is big government. >>
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can i propose a theory that might defend mitt romney? >> let's hear it. >> perhaps he hasn't heard of the invention of the internet where the things we say can be cataloged and redistributed to the public for their assessment. >> seriously, how is it possible? >> he is running a 19th century campaign as if inventions like videotape do not exist and he thinks he can say whatever he needs to say before a particular audience. i this i the american voter has gotten much more savvy. people are following this stuff. ordinary people in this election are drive ag ling a lot of thes. mitt romney, a hypocrite. people see that gaffe. it is not that he is like ted kennedy said, he is not pro-choice. he is multiple choice. >> we are all political junkies
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but as ia great marketing tool. m marketing, you can just lie over and over and over. have enough money to lie and people will start believing it is true. >> frito-lay mastered this. i don't believe i can only eat one potato chip. that's where citizens united is a powerful tool. you can just lie, lie, lie. for example, this lie about the $719 billion the president is taking away from medicare beneficiaries -- >> it also feels like -- >> just keep saying it and it will be true. >> in addition to dishonesty and this flip-flopping and apparently lack of awareness about technology, it also feels like romney tends to move towards wherever he thinks there is power. i was just blown away. there is this moment where in a
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new web ad that the governor has where he does a cuddling up to the president that i want us to look at real quickly. >> president obama and i both care with poor and middle class families. >> yes, me and the president, us together. >> it is an insult to the intelligence of the electorate. basically, he thinks we are stupid. this is consistent with his 47% theory. he thinks these are people that don't pay taxes, that they are lazy and irresponsible and don't know how to read or can't use the internet. >> it would be so stunning to me, when we take a step back after this year, in a year that's been so defined politically by objecting pay wall street, that a person that represents the worst instincts of the 1% in the united states thinks he can be elected priz. it . >> it is not just that. i mean, trotting out the welfare
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queen, for example. it is this notion that there is the worthy poor and the unworthy poor. he is compassionate of the people that are worthy of it but there is this whole 47% of folks that are not worthy. he is trying to enlift tst the majority of people to agree with that. there goes cutting out medicare, medicaid, food stamps. the food stamp president. if you can promote the message that there are people who are simply lazy and unworthy, then you will be feeding into the greater tea party method. >> he is particularly ill-suited to this period of time. we do live in an era where there is tremendous distrust of the
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establishment and media elites. one of the positive variables is a desire to fact-check and pick things apart. why did the 47% remark hurt him. the polls show it has broken through in a big way with undecided voters. it hurt him because people took a fact, 47% of the country doesn't pay a certain tax and then they weighed it against other facts. those people pay payroll taxes and state taxes and contribute in all sorts of ways, they include our veterans. >> those people are me. >> you want to jump on our soldiers while being out in the field while being exempt from taxes, go ahead and see how that plays. people were able to assess the information and make a judgment. in a way, facts are nut spin. people are able to take it and make a new decision. >> the unworthy part. there are at least 30
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corporations that not only don't pay any taxes but they get refunds. >> i think dave's point that they finally weigh in on labor when it is about football but not when it is about all of these other things. brentin, thank you so much for joining us today. we will continue to follow your work and color lines. >> it is amazing. >> check it out. >> the rest of us are going to be back for more. up next, the trouble with numbers in vacation. ♪ bob, these projections... they're... optimistic. productivity up, costs down, time to market reduced... those are good things. upstairs, they will see fantasy. not fantasy... logistics. ups came in, analyzed our supply chain, inventory systems... ups? ups. not fantasy? who would have thought? i did. we did, bob. we did. got it.
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visit gorving.com. my name is adam frucci and i'm the i love new technology,om. so when i heard that american express and twitter were teaming up, i was pretty interested. turns out you just sync your american express card securely to your twitter account, tweet specific hashtags, and you'll get offers on things you love. this totally changes the way i think about membership. saving money on the things you want. to me, that's the membership effect. nice boots! the dreaded s.a.t., you never forget your score or the experience. you lined up your perfectly sharpened pencil, the clock clicking down and those bubbles, filling them in just right and then you wait.
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you wait for the score that helps determine which schools will admit you. it is all very uncertain except that the closest thing to a sure bet with the s.a.t.s is this. if you have wealthy parents, your score is going to be higher than kids from lower income homes. in 1935, that's what harvard president, james connet was trying to avoid when he required all applicants to take the test. he wanted to create truly universal educational opportunity at every level. back then, the $4 billion a year s.a.t. prep industry did not exist. today, you can buy all kinds of test prep, an online course, a personal tutor, a seat in a standard classroom to ready yourself for the big day. practice makes perfect but only if you can afford it. if you are among the 1 in 4 children that comes from a family living below the poverty line, chances are your score will be 400 points lower than students whose parents make more than $200,000 a year.
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now, the college board which administers the s.a.t. says the test isn't a measure of socioeconomic status. indeed, 22% of the record 1.66 million students who took the tests this year qualified for a fee waiver from the board. that means that more than 365,000 students wouldn't have been able to take the college qualifying exam because they couldn't afford the $50 administrative fee. this year, the number of minority students taking the s.a.t. increased to 45% of all test takers. yet, the achievement gap still stands. 307. that is the difference in average s.a.t. scores between white and black students in the most recent year measured. 244 that is the difference between white and latino students. african-american students are the least likely to participate in a.p. or honor courses, the second least likely, latinos.
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ard could go to the college board, african-americans have the lowest average g.p.a. which students have the second lowest, latinos. it is not just about race. you see, students whose parents lack a high school diploma or earn less than $40,000 a year are the least likely to report an "a" average, much less so than those from educated and wealthy families. so up next, what is behind these numbers and what can be done about it? . citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. monarch of marketing analysis. with the ability to improve roi through seo all by cob. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above,
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♪ when you take a closer look... ...at the best schools in the world...
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...you see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... ...so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. it's hard to imagine what the president of the united states does after being the president of the united states. president obama gave us an idea on tuesday. in a post presidency, the thing that i this i i would enjoy most is spending time working with kids. i love teaching. i miss teaching and i'm not sure
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i will necessarily be in a classroom but the idea of being able to go around in various cities and helping to create mentorships and apprenticeships and giving young people the sense of possibility. >> that sense of opportunity and possibility unfortunately is not equally available to all of our nation's students. 58 years since separate but equal was struck down, our classrooms are still distressingly separate. 2 out of every 5 african-american or hispanic students attend intensely segregated schools. schools more segregated today than they were 40 years ago. they are not just segregated by race but by class. poor students face very different school days than their middle class and wealthy peers. the result, persistent achievement gap. here with me to discuss that is
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professor pay tedro. he is backed up by congresswoman gwynn more and ari melber. when you look at this gap, what do you see as the primary factors contributing to it? >> i am glad to be here. i appreciate your willingness to take on this topic. it is complicated. you spoke to it already in your comments. that is in many ways, the gaps in achievement and s.a.t. scores are really about social inequality. we need to unpack that. we have known for a long time that the strongest predictor of how a student will do on the s.a.t. is the education of the mother. why is that? children from more affluent,
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well-educated families are exposed to a wide variety of learning experiences outside of school, at the dinner table. they have a larger vocabulary when they enter school and those benefits are compounded over time. they have access to private tutors and get enrichment summer camps and travel. all those things help a student. in addition, it is compounded by the fact that they are more likely to go to affluent schools where we spend more money and where there are higher expectations and more resources. there is inequality outside of school compounded by inequality within schools. >> what i have appreciated about your work is this issue of complexity. you can say you have these predeterminative factors, poverty, social dislocation, neighborhoods that have crime. it doesn't mean kids can't learn or aren't capable. quite the opposite. it is an indication we ought to be putting more resources for those kids even than those that already come from circumstances where they have a great deal of
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resources. >> right. this debate about school reform has been framed in very simplistic ways. we have the so-called reformers. i think right now mayor rahm emanuel kind of exemplifies that. there on a drive. we are going to hold teachers accountable by test scores, shut down failing schools and replace them with charter schools which is a strategy we have seen used everywhere. what we haven't answered is how is that going to address the needs of the most disadvantaged children. we have researched from chicago and carried out while arne duncan was the superintendent which shows that many strategies didn't work. why didn't they work? because they didn't engage parents. they didn't really address the social needs of children and because they didn't provide the kinds of resources, social workers, psychologists that those schools need not to solve poverty but to mitigate the effects of poverty. >> there is one other question i have been dying to ask you
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before i open up for our panel. i want you to deacon struck on television at this point the ogbu thesis. the other piece of this story is not only should we clothse thes failing schools and walk away from public education that somehow black children and brown children and urban children are holding each other back. it is not poverty or dislocation. it is a culture of opposition. please pull that apart for me. >> you are giving me big questions. i am ready to take it on. >> you have got it, 90 sessions. john ogbu did very important work and showed the fact that your historical status has impact on the way you look at school. the immigrant kids come with a greater sense of hope and optimism and outperform american kids, all american kids. it is particularly true for what he called the nonvoluntary minorities, the descendants of
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slaves and african-americans and latino-americans. he didn't look at what was happening in schools and why it is that in certain schools, african-american children are performing at very high levels and not because their culture has changed but because the environment has changed. that is, these are schools that have gone about creating an environment where there are high expectations and children are challenged and stimulated. those schools exist right now. they are living proof that there is nothing wrong with the children. the problem is the way we treat the children, the conditions we place those children under. i can add, because i'm an admirer of president obama and a fan. if more schools were like the school his children went to, sidwell friends, which does not do high-tech testing but focuses on stimulating and challenging kids, we would see a lot more kids performing. the real question the president and arne duncan is will they
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give all kids a chance for that kind of education and not the kind that too many american kids are subject to right now? >> i am about to say amen on my own show. we are going to bring in the panel as soon as we get back. this is the conversation we want to have. we can not test our way out of this. stay with us. on a desolate hig in your jeep grand cherokee. and when you do, you'll be grateful for the adaptive cruise control that automatically adjusts your speed when approaching slower traffic. and for the blind-spot monitor... [ beeping ] ...that helps remind you that the highway might not be as desolate... as you thought. ♪
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testing, testing and more testing is often the answer for how to improve our nation's education. how we determine these benchmarks for achievement is rarely interrogated, part of the reason we have endsed up with statistics like this, african-american students are up to four times more likely than white students to be identified with learning disabilities. makes you wonder how that could be. back at the table, pedro nugero and gwynn moore and ari melber and david zirin. . your wife is a public school teacher in d.c.?
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>> yes. my wife teaches two classes so pertinent, a.p.u.p. history and u.s. history. you know the students that will be in a.p.u.s. history because of how much it costs. in d.c. history it gets a lot of kids. she says, i can't stand it when people denigrate these kids from the poor neighborhoods. she says kids do things the other kids could not accomplish. latino kids have to act as primary translators. they have survival techniques. they are the students most disrespected by the mainstream media and so-called reformers. >> and you can't pick up those skills on a standardized bubble test. >> it will not tell you about the creativity and the flexibility and the capacity of
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a young person able to do those things. >> ari, you wanted to jump in? >> dave was talking about history and pedro was talking about family history. a lot of these debates, like so many debates about race in public policy come back to this question of, does history matter anymore? there are people that don't necessarily have racial anti-moss but have the ideas that history is over and we are all at the same starting line and let's get going and be quote, unquote, fair. that when you look at the research is so fundamentally flawed. the s.a.t. statistics, we see that 36% of the total population of children are coming from homes where their parents only have a high school education. it jumps, that number jumps to 46% for minorities. why is that? that is not over because their parents were kept out of college.
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>> activity. >> and then you add to that another layer which is, there is a special boost for a lot of white students going to college because of the legacy boost for admissions where if you are the son or daughter of an alumnus, you get into college. that's another hidden layer. it acts like a grandfather clause and has a racial repercussion. i don't think it is designed to but it does. in total, when we know how important it is to have that college history, among other factors. we have a history where we now that race interfered with that is really telling. i think it goes back to the question of, what do we want to do about it. this year, the supreme court is going to consider whether to make affirmative action completely illegal so you can't consider that. the other program i mentioned, legacy boost for predominantly white alumni children, is not on the table for being eliminated. that history is still good. it is not even up on the docket. >> on this issue of history, it
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feels to me like our answer to these kind of inequalities is to put kids together in school. are we done with integration? are we done trying to address these wrongs but integrating our schools. school choice moments don't talk about that anymore. >> it is really true. if you did have integration, you would be forced to put resources in to make sure you educate the kids that you are trying to target for a good education. i tire so of hearing people say that money doesn't matter. only people with resources say that. if i were one of those chicago teachers, i would make every kid bring their 1040 or 1040-a in before i would let them in my class. if you are a poor kid, among african-americans, 38% of african-american children are poor. >> that's right. >> living below the poverty level. >> people with insufficient
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amount of food before they show up at school. >> right. they have asthma, roaches,untreated illnesses, domestic violence, parents who are unemployed. people say that has no impact on learning. to be a teacher who is going to be evaluated on the basis of whether or not your children learn when they have come in from a night of being under the covers because the utilities are turned off -- >> let me please give a public, nationally televised smackdown to some of these master evaluators. a lot of times they are young and have no experience in the classrooms themselves. they are sent in to act as judge and jury for people that have devoted their lives to helping these children. >> i was blown away by one of your statements about where, what we are doing in education. you talk about how education was
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in part connected to these institutionalization processes previously. you write, although the goals of education tended to be framed in humanitarian terms, the need to regiment and control the behavior of students dominated the educational mission and that notion of controlling students and managing their behavior rather than of educating, opening and broadening them, that feels to me core to how we treat kids who end up on the bottom of this scale. >> i think that's absolutely correct. that's one of the things that concerns me now about what's driving our vision of reform. what do we think it is going to create better outcomes. right now, the mantra we hear from washington and any of the reformers is going to be accountability. we don't talk about the conditions for learning. we don't talk about creating an environment in the classroom where children are excited to learn, where teachers have the tools they need to teach at high levels, where the schools have the resources to meet the needs of the children, both academic and the nonacademic.
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let me add, not only is integration no longer on the table, the policy agenda, which is remarkable when you consider the journey we have gone through since the brown decision, but head start and access to quality preschool is not even on the agenda. here is what we know. we don't have an achievement gap. we have a preparation gap. kids are coming into kindergarten well behind because they haven't had access to quality early childhood education. >> then, we shame them. >> we shame them and their parents. >> it is a sound policy investment. we have a lot of evidence to show this. to invest in the early childhood education of children, because it will benefit them not only in kindergarten but throughout their education. >> that's what made the chicago teachers so important. if you look at what they won, it wasn't just about salary. they won more money for those kind of programs, 600 more art teachers and physical education teachers and teachers' unions that are so derided as part of the problem in chicago show they are part of the solution. >> they were striking for their
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kids. >> how about science deniers. the science is in. you have to get that in. birther three is critical for learning. it is a funding issue. if you don't have money for kids until they are six years old to start kinder garden, you have missed that -- those critical brain development years. we are starting to fund public education too late. >> i want to unpack one thing pedro said so people understand. when we say integration is off the table in public schools, what we are talking about is that justice roberts ruled in 2007 in the seattle school's decision that schools could not take race into a factor at all to integrate public schools. that's where brown ended and so i just think as a big point, not that we have all the time in the world for it but part of these reform issues are also about reforming the courts. there are certain decisions we talk a lot about in money and
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politics. this area of integration is something that is going to come from reforming. >> i have been so revved up since education nation. we are doing a little education every week. you guys are already starting to set some of my agenda. we are going to talk about early childhood education and intervention and questions about how family and history are connected. this is going to be fun. more in a moment. first, it is time for a preview of weekends with alex whit. i am all over education too. i will be listening to that. thanks so much, melissa. >> "t" minus four days and counting to the first presidential debates. i will talk with a historian to get a read on whether they make that much of a difference when it comes to election day. i will talk to libertarian gary johnson, suing to get on the stage with president obama and mitt romney. the "today" show savannah guthrie tells us about following sarah palin on the campaign trail. business news from campbell's soup, we all grew up
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eating campbell's chicken noodle but times, they are changing, melissa. we will send it back to you. up next, our foot soldier of the week is putting starfish back in the ocean. does your phone give you all day battery life ? droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr. so it can feel like you're using nothing at all.
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have you ever heard the motivational story of the little girl and the starfish? goes something like this. a little girl is wandering along a beach. and she sees thousands of starfish but they've washed ashore. she picks one up and throws it into the ocean. an old man walks by and asks her, why are you wasting your time? it won't make any difference. to which the little girl replies, "it made a difference to that one." we here were reminded of the story when we learned of our foot soldier this week. marion leery is a former critical care nurse who currently runs a clinical research group at the pennsylvania health care system. a few years ago marion started
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to notice a pattern. more and more she heard stories of patients not only concerned about surviving and recoop rating from illnesses but also worried about how to pay for the costs associated with their medical care. in one case the father of a friend suffered a massive heart attack that rendered him incapable of working and unable to pay all of his medical bills. so marion's friend asked her to help put on a fundraising event. that got her to thinking, maybe instead of putting together an event each time a person became ill marion could approach the problem on a larger scale. then another friend's parent became ill. and this time a friend's mother diagnosed with cancer could not even buy groceries because she had to pay for her chemotherapy. the stories continue to come in. and marion was seeing firsthand with people in her own life the reality that was playing out with our health care system nation-wide. she felt compelled to get involved. inspired by the microlending
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organization kiva.org which allows people to make donations towards prescreened and verified causes, marion decided to start a web-based non-profit called sunk or swim philadelphia. on her web site, sinkorswim philadelphia.org, marion describes the group's mission. >> each month sink or swim philadelphia features people who have medical expenses that keep them from staying afloat. when you hear their stories you'll want to share it with others. we create an online community dedicated to helping one person each month get a break. helping one person keep their head above water. >> this week, sink or swim is coming up on a big anniversary. october 1st will mark one year since the site launched. that means ten patients helped. and almost $15,000 raised. like the little girl with the starfish, marion knows that sink or swim is not a cure-all for our nation's health care woes. but for the ten patients she's helped so far? and the ones still to come, she sure is making a difference to that one.
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>> none of us can do it alone. sink or swim philadelphia wants to help us do it together. we need you. today nearly 42% of our citizens are uninsured or underinsured and they can't do it alone. >> for picking up each starfish in her sight and tossing it gently back into the water, marion is our foot soldier of the week. marion and her organization were nominated via our facebook page by her aunt paula. so if someone that you know in your life or your community would make a great mhp foot soldier, please submit your nomination via face book.com/mhp show. that's our show for today. thank you to congresswoman moore, pedro nigero -- thanks to all of you at home for watching. i'll see you tomorrow morning 10:00 a.m. eastern for our special debate club preview edition. it's going to be so much fun. coming up "weekend with alex witt."
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hello, everyone. approaching high noon here in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome into "weekends with alex witt." rare reversal on the libya consulate attack. four days to go before the high stakes presidential debate. record quiet in tornado alley. and harvest moon rises. and a new intrusion in the private life of kate middleton. we have details on those stories throughout this hour. but first -- we go to front page politics. the campaign trail looking live right now at a picture of a rally in ft. myers, florida taking place. there's vice-president joe biden speaking to voters on the second day of his swing through the battle ground state. let's listen in. >> benefits they get now. now wait a minute now. after they were told that, this goes to credibility. after they were told that, what did they do? they still introduced it in the house. and every repuan